The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for two attacks on coastal towns in Kenya that killed several people. Al-Shabab has vowed to push Kenyan troops out of Somalia.
The overnight raids on the coastal towns of Hindi and Gamba killed at least 22 people total, and on Sunday, al-Shabab made claims that it was behind both attacks.
A spokesperson for the group of Somali Islamists told the Reuters news agency that a group based in Somalia had carried out the attacks. The German DPA news agency reported that pro-insurgent Radio Andalus carried a statement from another al-Shabab spokesperson that made the same claims.
The death toll has steadily risen since the attacks on Saturday night, with the Kenyan Red Cross releasing an updated death toll Sunday on Twitter.
Lamu county commissioner Njenga Miiri said some 15 gunmen had raided Hindi and started firing at residents (one of the victims is pictured above). Hindi is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the town of Mpeketoni, where dozens were killed in an attack last month.
In the Gamba incident, Kenya's police chief David Kimaiyo said gunmen had attacked the police station. Five of those killed were inmates imprisoned at the station, according to a senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity.
One police officer was reportedly also killed.
Kenya has suffered a number of gun and bomb attacks since deploying troops to Somalia in October 2011 to help fight militants from the Islamist group.
In September last year, al-Shabab in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing 67 people. Dozens more have died in smaller attacks elsewhere in the country.
(dpa, Reuters, AP)